Attention Piece!

It is said that attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.

 

The poet J.D. McCatchy captured this essential fact beautifully in his observation that “love is the quality of attention we pay to things.”.

 

It’s a no brainer. Before we can create anything worthy of other people’s attention, we have to learn to manage ours.

 

Our world is the outcome of what we pay attention to. Period. Attention is the currency of achievement.

 

Being present is the best present we can give ourselves. And to others. There is a curious power in being present. When we are present, we see the other person more clearly. We communicate better. We make lasting connections.

 

Unfortunately, in our always on, go-go-go world, being  with someone who is fully present and therefore offering attention is rare.

 

Good work and great art comes from deep focus and deep work. Our ability to be prolific, create art that resonates, that strikes a chord , tug at the heartstrings and hit people in the face with a crowbar depends on our ability to focus.

 

Consider for a moment the kind of mental world we can construct when we dedicate significant time and attention to deep endeavors.

 

Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer,” Simone Weil observed as she considered the relationship between attention and grace at the peak of her short life. “Attention without feeling,” Mary Oliver wrote a generation later in her beautiful elegy for her soul mate, “is only a report.

 

It’s hard to carve out time and space for work or art that matters if we’re always distracted by things don’t.

 

So, how much art have you made today?

 

I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door “. Marla Gibbs

 

ENDS

Branding Matters. Because, Branding Matters!

Branding:  The peculiar art and science of distilling something* down to its essence and giving it physical shape.

( *usually a product, place, service, or person).

Brands continue to shape humanity in ever more fundamental ways- even those who don’t torment ourselves over logos, typography and the message like some of us do.

Brands connect us, just as they drive us apart.

At a time when it seems increasingly difficult to rely on our elected leaders, when virus and violence remind us of our shared mortality and required humility, we need to focus on brands that bring us together.

Branding is a tool.

All of us use it.

Most use it in public.

Many use it for profit.

Some use it for power.

It is rarely used in private.

Humanity is a web.

It is a complex, intricately woven structure of cultures, races, and genders. A patchwork of beliefs, histories, world views and identities. A quilt of sublime beauty and unimaginable horror.

We are all part of one species, sharing one planet. And we inhabit a world in which any of our individual actions- what we buy, what we eat, what news we share, how we travel, what we throw away- affect everything else.

Everyone of us has a place. We all have a role to play. Most of us want to make the world a better place for ourselves, our neighbors, and our children.

In some shape or form, we all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

We all want to belong.

Branding used to be about ownership– about what belongs to us. Branding was about marking one’s possessions in public.

At some point, we discovered that the purchase, use, consumption (or even wasting) of a product could serve as a reflection of our worldview- our status.

Caviar | The Automobile | Champagne | Fur Coats | Beaver Hats

We have transitioned from wearing pelts for survival to wearing pelts for status. Attaching value to actions and the consciously public display of labels allows us to seek out the like-minded. People like us. Do things like this. The not so subtle art of clanning. The same class. The same wealth. The same team.

Our people. Where we belong.

Was this the moment where we surrendered to the brand?

Brands are the ultimate gatekeepers, trendsetters, and mass mind-shapers. They determine who and what we love, who and what we hate, what gets visibility, and what gets marginalized and buried.

Brands are the foundation of the attention economy; without them, we wouldn’t be debating how much information the human species can realistically process. We wouldn’t be deliberating about how to divide our attention between all the things that require it. Without brands, we would be hopelessly lost.

Without brands, would we be free?

Brands mark our status, signify our value, and let us broadcast to the world:

” This is who I Am “.

Consciously, unconsciously- possibly in permanent denial- we are living in a mega-branded reality in which the gestures, messages, imagery and actions of brands influence us more than we realize. They touch every facet of human life.

” I shop, therefore I am “.

This is how I dress.

This is how I speak.

This is what I do.

This is how I play.

This is how I pray.

This is who I love.

This is what I believe.

” This is who I am “.

Brands have a way of teasing out the best in us. They help us feel attractive, prosperous, and together. They make us feel part of a group, like we belong. They help us maintain optimism about ourselves and the world. Whether it’s flashy new pair of kicks, a new car or a motivating app, brands can dramatically alter our moods, our energy levels, and how we see ourselves.

Caveat: This power though is a double-edged sword.

It is to our benefit that we’re drawn to offerings that help us thrive, succeed, understand ourselves better, and achieve more happiness.

But are we just flaunting what we have got? Living a life of empty materialism and compensating for our insecurities? Or are the brands in our lives serving a deeper purpose, supporting our best possible selves, our strongest relationships, our most viable society?

” Choose your self-presentations carefully, for what starts off as a mask may become your face .”- ERVING GOFFMAN

 

To be continued..